POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 1/29 – Ronda Rousey sparks major interest, New Japan sells out venue

Ronda Rousey's appearance at the Royal Rumble generates lots of coverage, New Japan sells out Long Beach venue in 20 minutes, The Dudley Boyz announced for the WWE Hall of Fame, Hiroshi Tanahashi removed from the current tour, Jonathan Coachman replaces Booker T. on Raw commentary team, and more,


**First off, I want to thank all our listeners as we had our biggest week in the short history of this site over the past week with tremendous figures.

**The Royal Rumble POST Show is available on the site with Jason Agnew joining Wai Ting and myself to review the six-hour Royal Rumble event, we go through all the matches, discuss the arrival of Ronda Rousey, the success of the two Rumble matches, Shinsuke Nakamura and Asuka winning the respective matches and thoughts on the rest of the card. You can download the show at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/01/29/royal-rumble-2018-post-show-with-john-pollock-wai-ting-and-jason-agnew/ and listen through iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and the TuneIn Radio app.

**Today, I have also added a bonus show for members of the POST Wrestling Café on Patreon with a review of both New Beginning cards from New Japan over the weekend. These two shows had a lot of news coming out of them and were highlighted by the Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki match, the Young Bucks vs. Roppongi 3K on the second night and a big angle to close out the second night. You can subscribe and immediately receive this show at www.patreon.com/POSTwrestling.

**Wai Ting and I are back tonight with Rewind-A-Raw as we will review tonight’s big episode, the fallout with Ronda Rousey and the Royal Rumble, the build that starts for WrestleMania, and we will announce the winner of the POST Wrestling Royal Rumble Pool. The show will be posted late tonight on the site.


**The WWE has received lots of publicity with the appearance by Ronda Rousey at the end of the Royal Rumble and signing with the company. Rousey went to extreme lengths to keep her appearance quiet and did, in fact, fly to Colombia for the filming of “Mile 22” (as she told TMZ, but lied about not returning until mid-February) and returned to the U.S. on a chartered flight through Miami, where she did go through customs and could have been seen by the public although wasn’t reported as being seen. She also flew without her usual entourage and remained hidden on Sunday. I felt the execution was effective because once you realized the women’s Royal Rumble was going on last, you could assume Rousey would be appearing, but it was the “smart swerve” in that you could anticipate but still be surprised when it happens as opposed to being totally out of left field.

ESPN had the story and interview with Rousey immediately afterward with ESPN reporter Ramona Shelburne spotted in the crowd with a WWE executive. Shelburne reported the lengths that Rousey went to keep her surprise quiet. In speaking with Rousey, she indicated this will be her top priority and isn’t coming in for a one-off or a cash grab.

It’s a lock that she will be doing WrestleMania in April and it’s only a question of what the match will be. Dave Meltzer has reported a proposed plan of Rousey teaming with Dwayne Johnson to face Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, which would pay off the angle shot at WrestleMania 31 in 2015. The obstacle in that equation is Johnson receiving clearance to do a wrestling match with his huge shooting schedule and opening himself up to the possibility of an injury that has caused havoc in the past. The other ideas would be a match with Charlotte or Stephanie as they would be singles matches I would expect Rousey will have at some point in the future, if not at WrestleMania. It’s also worth noting that Rousey and Johnson share the same manager in Hollywood heavyweight Brad Slater.

The WWE did clear the musical rights for “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett, which is a deal that Rousey’s photographer, Michael Mardones a.k.a. Layzie the Savage indicated was assisted by Dana White to lock down that deal.

This is a unique set of circumstances because Rousey isn’t just training to pull off a “celebrity match” at WrestleMania, she has the intentions of doing this consistently beyond WrestleMania. I would not want her to become a weekly character, doing WWE style interviews and segments and she would be best utilized as the female Brock Lesnar. The different between Rousey and Lesnar is that if Rousey truly wants to get better and get real experience, she could be a tremendous house show draw. I couldn’t imagine her doing a full-time schedule but if she can do 3-4 pay-per-views matches a year and big house show events coupled with non-wrestling appearances on television I feel it will draw people to pay to see her wrestle. Paul Heyman could also be a huge asset as her promos are not going to be her strength.

The most important element of achieving buzz was easily met on Sunday night. Every MMA outlet is covering this story, this has received lots of mainstream press and I was even contacted by a morning show out of Australia to discuss this.

**I would expect a big number for Raw tonight, although I would be stunned if they can hit the level of last week’s 25th Anniversary of Raw. Last year’s episode of Raw after the Royal Rumble did 3,610,000 viewers and was one of the biggest audiences of the year. There is a lot of buzz from last night’s show and would feel they should top last year’s number.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling has an enormous day with tickets selling out immediately for their return to Long Beach, California on March 25th. New Japan rented a much bigger venue for this show with the Walter Pyramid. Tickets were sold out for this event within 20 minutes of the tickets being made available to the public. An official with New Japan confirmed to us that the event sold out in just under 20 minutes with just over 4,700 tickets sold and that’s without any matches being announced. This was way more impressive than the first two Long Beach cards because it’s not the first time in the market, the timing was tough because it’s only two-weeks before WrestleMania and it’s a larger venue. There has not been an official announcement yet regarding the show being broadcast on AXS TV, although I would be shocked if it wasn’t. Don Callis joked on the New Beginning broadcast on Sunday by asking if they would have a four-man booth at Long Beach and joked that Kevin Kelly had heat with Josh Barnett.

**It was announced on Monday that The Dudley Boyz will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and join Bill Goldberg for this year’s class in New Orleans. Reporter Brad Shepard had stated in December that the list of Hall of Fame inductees this year would include: Goldberg, The Dudley Boyz, Bam Bam Bigelow, Ivory, and Kid Rock.

When it comes to The Dudley’s WWF/E run, they were far from a can’t miss act in 1999. They came in at a time when the tag division was not all that hot with a lot of makeshift teams working a work slower pace and there was a fear of the team having a similar fate as Public Enemy. It was in January 2000 that the evolution of the tag division took form with The Dudley’s and The Hardy’s having a fantastic table match at that year’s Royal Rumble at Madison Square Garden. It was a precursor to the style of matches they would be forever connected to alongside Edge and Christian. The three teams stole the show at WrestleMania that year at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim. The funny part was that the company was getting ready to split Edge and Christian up around this point until they latched onto their comedic personas and had another 18-months together and carried the division with The Hardys and Dudleys. The raised the bar further with the inaugural TLC match at SummerSlam in 2000 with all three teams breaking out during this year and was the hottest the WWF tag division had been in years. I would say the feud culminated at WrestleMania X-7 with TLC 2 and ended the same way the ladder match at WrestleMania 2000 and first TLC ended, with Edge and Christian winning. They also had the “forgotten” TLC match in May 2001 that aired on an episode of SmackDown and included Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho as a team. Everyone felt TLC shouldn’t have been thrown on free television and even worse, they didn’t even promote it a week ahead and was the match that Benoit injured his neck, which was the final straw that would require neck surgery and he would be gone for one-year.

The Dudley’s were split up at the inaugural draft in 2002 with neither succeeding on their own. Bubba remained on Raw and was relegated to hardcore matches and no evolution to the character, while D-Von was repackaged as a Reverend and is most remembered for Dave Bautista’s first role on the main roster as “Deacon Batista”. The split was deemed a failure and they were reunited at the Survivor Series in 2002 and remained a team for the duration of their time in the WWE until the summer of 2005. Their contracts expired with the company and there was ill will at the time because The Dudley’s were leaving the company, but the company included their names among a list of numerous names being released, when in fact The Dudleys were not being released and both sides mutually agreed to not renew their deals.

Under their new name of “Team 3-D”, the debuted in TNA to coincide with the promotion’s launch on Spike TV in October 2005. Several years later, they attempted to split the two up again and generated significantly better results than in the WWE did in 2002. Both men got into fantastic shape and Bubba, under the new moniker of “Bully Ray”, had his best run of his career as the top heel in the organization. He led the Aces and Eights group, feuded with the likes of Hulk Hogan and Sting and had main event presence with tremendous promos.

After leaving TNA, Bully Ray made a surprise appearance in the 2015 Royal Rumble and then returned the night after SummerSlam that year with D-Von with the two having a one-year run as an undercard tag team that drew more on the nostalgia of the old characters rather than the updated versions they had introduced in TNA. Today, D-Von works as a producer with the WWE while Bubba has worked consistently with Ring of Honor since last March and is a co-host of the “Busted Open Radio” show on SiriusXM.

**Hiroshi Tanahashi has been taken off the remainder of the New Beginning tour that runs through February 10th in Osaka. The finish of the Minoru Suzuki match on Saturday’s card in Sapporo is the storyline reason for Tanahashi being out. New Japan stated he was suffering from acute osteoarthritis in his knee. Tanahashi is being advertised for the Long Beach card on March 25th and for Ring of Honor’s Supercard of Honor event on April 7th in New Orleans. It is not yet known if he will be part of these shows or if he will be out longer. Based on Sunday’s show, it appears Minoru Suzuki’s next program will be with Togi Makabe.

**The WWE has hired Jonathan Coachman back and he will be replacing Booker T. as the third voice on the Raw broadcast team alongside Michael Cole and Corey Graves. Coachman quietly left ESPN earlier this year and has been working with The Golf Channel. Coachman will be on the broadcast for tonight’s episode of Raw from Philadelphia. Booker T. is being moved to the pay-per-view kickoff panels exclusively.

**The WWE announced that due to an injury sustained, Alicia Fox was removed from the Royal Rumble and also off the Mixed Match Challenge, where she was scheduled to team with Goldust.

**The Undertaker was in Philadelphia over the weekend with a photo of him circulating around. He was obviously there with his wife, Michelle McCool, who appeared in the women’s Royal Rumble.

**For those participating in Royal Rumble pools, here are some stats from the two Rumble matches:
*Longest lasting: Finn Balor and Sasha Banks
*Shortest: Sheamus and Vickie Guerrero
*Most eliminations: Roman Reigns and Finn Balor (tied with four) / Michelle McCool (five)

**The WWE stock closed at $34.23 on Monday.

REWIND-A-WAI #3: WrestleMania X-8 (Patreon show)
BWE 1/24/18: RevPro High Stakes, Progress Chapter 61, BritWres Scandals
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 1/23/18 – Enzo Amore, State of 205 Live, Royal Rumble Preview

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About John Pollock 5030 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.